Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 29.djvu/250

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

234 Southern Historical Society Papers.

Fort Pulaski was sixteen miles from the city of Savannah, at the mouth of the Savannah river. General Mullineaux was in command. This fort was divided into casemates, each twenty-four feet square. In one corner of each casemate was a slat trap-door, leading down into a basement below, which was about six feet deep. There was a basement under each casemate, and every basement was the size of the casemate above. These were divided by solid brick walls laid in cement, and the walls were twenty-two inches thick.

On one side of the fort there was a moat seventy-five feet wide, the opposite side being of brick laid in cement. The bottom was also laid in brick and cemented, and thus held the water.

Some five or six feet from the bottom of the moat there were bricks left out at intervals in the wall of the fort, so as to let the water into the basements. When the moat would fill up to these openings, the water would pass into the basements below the casemates. It gen- erally stood to the depth of four or five feet in the basements.


Our rations, while confined in this prison, were ten ounces of corn- meal per day for each prisoner. The meal was kiln-dried and had been put up in 1861; so it was four years old. It had turned very dark, and was not suitable food for animals certainly not for human beings.

When taken out of the barrels it was a cemented mass, and would come out in chunks and blocks as large as a half bushel.

Before using it, we would have to rub it in our hands, and sift it through tin cans perforated with a nail. This was done to separate the bugs from the meal, when we felt that we could spare the bugs and have meal enough left. One can imagine what our condition was with no food but this for forty-four days, except sour pickle made of onions, cabbage, and other vegetables. The pickle was given us to prevent scurvy. Some of our number were already suffering from this trouble.


There were twenty-four prisoners in each casemate. For every four casemates there was one small cooking-stove that is, one stove served for ninety-six men. The quantity of fuel was very small in- deed. We cooked by detail until we got 'round. There were six in our mess Captain James Dunlap, Twenty-sixth Virginia Battal- ion, Echols' Brigade, Breckinridge's Division, captured at Cold